Richard Saul Wurman’s Wisdom

On Education’s Three Great Lies

“The schools in this country are one of the biggest reasons we’re all so screwed up. Our educational experience consists of three great lies. Lie number one is, It’s better to say, ‘I know’ than to say, ‘I don’t know.’ Lie number two: It’s better to answer a question than ask a question. Lie three: It’s better to worship at the foot of success than understand the nature of failure. Those three lies have screwed our society, and it’s by overcoming one at a time–or two at a time or all three –that you can make some breakthroughs in your creative activities.”

LATCH and Information Architecture

“The only thing we know is our own personal knowledge and lack of knowledge.. And since it’s the only thing we really know, the key to making things understandable is to understand what it’s like not to understand.

Information may be infinite, however…The organization of information is finite as it can only be organized by LATCH: Location, Alphabet, Time, Category, or Hierarchy.” – Richard Saul Wurman







“While information may be infinite, the ways of structuring it are not. And once you have a place in which the information can be plugged, it becomes that much more useful. Your choice will be determined by the story you want to tell. Each way will permit a different understanding of the information—within each are many variations. However, recognizing that the main choices are limited makes the process less intimidating.

If you were preparing a report on the automobile industry, you could organize cars by place of manufacture (location), year (time), model (category), or Consumer Reports ratings (hierarchy). Within each, you might list them alphabetically. Your choice would depend on what you wanted to study or convey about the industry. If you wanted to describe the different types of cars, your primary organization would probably be by category. Then, you might want to organize by hierarchy, from the least expensive to the most. If you wanted to examine car dealerships, you would probably organize first by location, and then by the number or continuum of cars sold.

After the categories are established, the information about the cars is easily retrievable. Each way of organizing permits a different understanding; each lends itself to different kinds of information; and each has certain reassuring limitations that will help make the choices of how the information is presented easier.” —Richard Saul Wurman

Random Richard Moments

Profound insight

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